Trout fishing in cherokee, nc

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We are passionate about trout

Come fish the crystal clear waters of Cherokee, brimming with brook, large browns, and rainbow trout. A precious natural resource, the abundantly trout-filled stream system in Cherokee connects 30 miles of freestone streams that include secluded forest settings, suburban roadside areas, and even the Cherokee town center. Renowned for 18-inch and above record-size trout Cherokee’s 30 miles of accessible fishing water is the single largest managed trout fishery in the eastern states. A number of shops and stores offer authorized fishing permits, and a growing number of tackle shops supply both expert and novice gear including flies, tackle, and bait.

The Trophy Trout Fly-fishing season in Cherokee is open year-round with no closure dates. General fishing waters close briefly each year just prior to the official opening day of the season which is the last Saturday of March. If you are searching for the best information on trout fishing in Cherokee then visit Fish Cherokee, a great resource for staying up to date on upcoming tournaments. Bring yourself, your friends, or even the whole family and explore the awesome experience of trout fishing in NC.

Ready to cast your line in Cherokee, NC?

First you’ll need to get a permit. Luckily, that’s as easy as catching a Cherokee trout.
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The permits required for trout fishing in North Carolina do not cover fishing in Cherokee. To fish in Enterprise waters you must purchase an Eastern Band Sport Fishing License from the Cherokee tribe. This license gives you trout fishing access to all the ponds and streams open to the general public on lands owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. You may keep up to ten trout per day, per permit in the general fishing waters. Buy your permit online or from one of many stores in Cherokee.

  • A $10.00 tribal permit is required for anyone over 11 years old.
  • Permits are needed to fish in both streams and ponds.
  • Kids under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult with a tribal fishing permit.
  • Permits can be purchased for 1, 2, 3, or 5 day permits.
  • Season’s permits are also available and cost approximately $250.00

Don’t forget to also purchase the additional special use permit that gives you access to The Haven, a section of the Raven Fork set aside for catch and release only. Raven Fork is a pristine freestone stream that flows directly from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is your chance to enjoy some of the best trout fishing North Carolina offers

Types of Trout in cherokee

Meet your adversaries:

Regular stocking of the streams is the responsibility of Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management, which each year adds nearly 250,000 trout to an existing population of fish swimming in our crystal-clear mountain waters. That’s the highest density of fish in stocked waters in the east. These supplemental stockings include rainbow, brook, and brown trout of various sizes ranging up to trophy size.

Brook Trout:

The only native trout found in these mountain waters, the Brookie ranges between 6–18” when fully grown. It’s found in cold waters (bring your hip waders!), like those running through narrow streams. You’ll know it by its red spots and light red fins with white edges.

Brown Trout:

Don’t let the name fool you. This trout variety can be brown, but also olive, and often has green, orange, and red spots encircled in yellow or white. They like to live near fallen trees or boulders in large pools, and can be found under shaded banks. The big ones can reach 18–26”, weighing as much as 6–16 lbs

Golden Trout:

The newest neighbor to our waters, Goldens were spawned in 1954 and are uniquely prized as a trophy fish. Known for their unmistakable bright golden hue, they’re similar in size and behavior to large browns and Rainbows.

Rainbow Trout:

The most commonly found stocked fish in these waters, the Rainbow displays a wide lateral pink to red stripe on its side, dark olive on its back, light colors on its belly, and is speckled overall. It’s predominantly found in riffles and swift runs, as well as in open waters.

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Best Trout Fishing Areas

So what makes a city, town, or region the best trout fishing? Here are a few of the reasons Cherokee offers some of the best trout fishing:

Sometimes you want to hike deep into the woods to find the perfect, secluded trout fishing spots, but other times you want to drive down to the river, lake, or stream for the afternoon and get your “fish” on! The places with the best trout fishing have options for people of all ages, physical capabilities, and preferences.

The best trout fishing regions have natural trout, as well as stocked trout.

Most anglers want fishing opportunities at an affordable price. Choose a place with great trout fishing and fishing permits that are easy to get and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

It is important to spend time and money in places where caring for the forests, waterways, and wildlife through conservation and eco-friendly, sustainable practices and maintenance. The best fishing can be found in regions where a love and care for the outdoors is prevalent.

The cities and towns with the best trout fishing also have bait, tackle, gear, and supplies available that are key to the success of your fishing endeavors. Plan ahead when you can, but if you forget something you want it to be easy to stop somewhere and stick up on all of your fishing needs.

Trout Fishing Tournaments in Cherokee

There are many trout fishing tournaments in Cherokee every year and Cherokee has become a hot spot for competitive fishing. Compete in one of the many Cherokee trout fishing tournaments that take place throughout the year. Thousands of dollars in cash prizes are up for grabs! Cherokee trout fishing events range from tagged fishing contests suitable for all ages to a challenging competition using modified FIPS-Mouche rules.

Reel in unforgettable moments in the heart of Cherokee, NC

Explore our curated collection of information on fishing in Cherokee, NC.

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Cherokee Awaits.